Briar Rose by Heather Ross

Briar Rose by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Occasionally I’ll see a preview of an upcoming fabric line and instantly I am giddy with excitement. That’s how I felt when I first saw peeks of the latest by artist Heather Ross. This line, Briar Rose for Windham Fabrics, is so sweet – much like all the rest of Heather’s fabrics.

Briar Rose by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I attempted to show some self restraint when shopping this time (do I really need clovers in 3 different greens? yes! no! someone hold me back!) So far I’ve only purchased the quilting cottons, but I do have plans to buy a bit of the knits for a skirt for my daughter.

Briar Rose by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I did manage to convince myself to get three of the four strawberry prints. My excuse is my 6 year old. Those are pretty much made for her.

Briar Rose by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

The little bees are adorable.

Briar Rose by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

And I think this larger scene would make a great quilt back for girl or boy.

Briar Rose by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Briar Rose is just arriving in shops now. You can find at many of my sponsors!

Pink Castle Fabrics
Fort Worth Fabric Studio
The Intrepid Thread
Fat Quarter Shop
Stash Fabric
Westwood Acres
Skye Reve Fabrics
Lark Cottons
Fresh Modern Fabric

A Weekend in Wisconsin

I just returned from such a fun weekend, sewing with friends, in Madison. Wisconsin has been a bit of an unexpected surprise for me. I live in Illinois, grew up in Ohio, have lived in Indiana. I’m used to seeing farms and cornfields. But something about the farms in Wisconsin, with the rolling hills…I really think it is so beautiful.

Plus, I love cheese. And there’s no shortage in Wisconsin!

So Friday night I drove up to this wonderful little log cabin for a weekend of sewing with Holly, Jeni, Deedee, Jacey and Anna. It is so nice to spend a weekend sewing and laughing with friends.

I’m really lucky to have a supportive husband who encourages me to take time away like this to relax.

Although we spent a lot of time in our little chalet sewing, we also spent Saturday afternoon checking out Madison. We got to see Jeni’s apartment (basically where all her amazing design happens!)

And we shopped (a lot) at The Sewcial Lounge!

Besides talking and eating all the delicious food Deedee made us, I spent the entire weekend working on a stack of 140 little blocks.

These are the fabrics I just received from Modern Yardage plus some extras from my fabric stash.

I highly recommend organizing a sewing weekend with friends. I’m so grateful for these wonderful people near me!

Also, just a quick note that today is the last day of my big pattern sale. If you were thinking about getting one, this is your last chance for the 50% off discount. Thanks everyone!

Paper Piecing, Log Cabins and New Fabric

This post is going to be all over the place. But that’s not always a bad thing, right? I’ve been busy sewing over the last couple of weeks. Not really finishing anything but making good progress.

First up, my Arkansas Traveler quilt. After lots of cutting, sewing diamonds, paper piecing those diamonds, trimming, trimming and trimming, I have 96+ blocks! It really feels like a huge milestone.

You can find a tutorial to make this block on Lee of Freshly Pieced’s site. Those of you with an eagle eye might notice my template is a little different than the one from the Summer Sampler Series. I’m trying out something new Lee came up with, less seams, but maybe a little trickier to assemble the final block, depending on how you feel about sewing together shapes other than squares.

I know I said I wasn’t going to share my final design until I was done. I guess I lied. Here’s the plan! This weekend/next week I’m hoping to finish the quilt top assembly.

As a bit of a personal reward for finishing all those components, I cut into the little pack of Liberty of London Lifestyle fabric I picked up at Quilt Con.

I knew I wanted to pair it with some Essex Linen in Natural. I thought it would look super cute as one of Anna’s Open Wide Pouches. Great pattern, as usual! I made the smallest size because I only had a 10″ zipper on hand. (I bought my metal zipper from Zip It on Etsy.)

The inside is Stamped by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka.

This week I also performed a little surgery on my local Modern Quilt Guild challenge quilt top. You can read up on the sadness of unmatching white fabric here.

I finished the top yesterday (happy dance!) and will share the finished quilt next week. That is a promise – it’s due Thursday!

I also have been lucky enough to receive some new fabric in the mail this week.

Windham was kind enough to send some of Lotta Jansdotter’s Glimma Canvas for me to check out. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with canvas so I’m pretty excited to try something out. They also sent a charm pack of Ride, Julia Rothman’s second collection. I seriously love the little bicycle wheels. My son has already claimed this for his own, so I’m thinking of using it in some way to make him a tote bag for the library.

I also had a very happy surprise from Moda Fabrics – three layer cakes of upcoming collections.

These are S’More Love by Eric and Julie Comstock, Simply Style by Vanessa of V and Co, and Honeysweet by Fig Tree & Co. (Seriously, I don’t know how I got so lucky!)

I decided to immediately cut into Vanessa’s fabric because, well, I think she’s pretty fun. :) I found a block in 163 Favorite Patchwork Patterns : Japanese Craft Book, an awesome book I purchased a few months ago from The Workroom in Canada.

I had some questions on Instagram about this book. It is all in Japanese. There are diagrams that help give ideas about block assembly, but there are no directions or sizes in English. If you like a challenge and are good at figuring things out, this is the book for you. I do, and really, what do you have to lose except a little bit of fabric? Keeps my old mind sharp. ;)

So anyway, I picked this cool design…

And started to layout a couple blocks…

And then something funny happened. I made these up at pretty much the exact same time Lee was writing up her post to announce her planned Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt Along with a very similar block! Yesterday morning we had a good laugh about how we must be totally on the save wave length after writing the book together. So! If you like the block, are interested in making the block, you are in luck because Lee’s about to start her quilt along and will have tutorials for you. Her block just has some great additional shading.

Phew! I hope some of you made it through all that! Next week is Spring Break here. (As I ignore the -4 degree wind chill and snow outside…) I’m not really sure if that means I’ll get more sewing done (not driving the kids all over the place) or less (more play time with the kids!). We’ll see. My newly 4 year old wants to put on a kid art show in the house, so we have big crafting plans. Very exciting! Have a great weekend everyone!

Welcome Fat Quarter Shop!

 

Today I’d like to give a big welcome to my newest blog sponsor, the Fat Quarter Shop! A few years ago when I started quilting and wanted to build up my fabric stash a bit, this was where I bought my fabric. I remember being so incredibly impressed with not only the fabric selection and speed of shipping but how pretty the fabric was packaged. Seriously, I can still picture that first package in my mind! :)

The Fat Quarter Shop was founded in 2003 by Kimberly Jolly. Kimberly (a quilter) began the shop as a side business on evenings and weekends while still working a corporate position outside the home. From the very beginning, she was committed to delivering top-notch service for every single order and customer. As the Fat Quarter Shop’s reputation grew, Kimberly decided to make it a full-time operation with the addition of her husband and, later, more staff. As a team, the Fat Quarter Shop continues to branch out with the best fabrics, exclusive kits, quilt clubs, BOMs, and more.

This is shaping up to be an exciting year at the Fat Quarter Shop. The 2013 Designer Mystery BOM (Block of the Month) is a stunning row quilt with blocks by 12 amazing Moda designers.

From June 2013 through May 2014, members will receive fabric and instructions for one block and finish with a fabulous quilt setting. This year, they are using the upcoming Avalon collection by the fabulous Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts, who has designed the equally fabulous and unique finishing kit. Fig Tree fans, do not miss out!! More info here and sign up before it’s full!

You can keep up the latest at the Fat Quarter Shop through your favorite social media platform:
Blog: www.fatquartershop.blogspot.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/fatquartershop
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fatquartershop
Twitter: www.twitter.com/fatquartershop
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/fatquartershop.com

Thank you for joining in the fun here Kimberly and company! And thank you everyone for supporting my sponsors.